Friday, February 21, 2014

Bright Math Ideas Blog Hop: Skip Counting


I'm joining some of my awesome blog friends to share some bright math ideas. Each blogger will feature a great math idea as well as a fun freebie! I'm An Adventure in Literacy, but I do teach math everyday in first grade, so I have a few tricks up my sleeve for math too! My firsties are currently working on skip counting, so I thought I'd share a few fun ideas and a counting by 10s FREEBIE game!

One of my favorite skip counting activities is to rock out to skip counting songs during calendar. We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Jack Hartmann's Counting By 5s and Counting By 2s songs. You can find these on his Math All Around Me CD.  I have my kiddos hold up 2 or 5 fingers on their hand and cross their midline as we rock out...always trying to get that whole brain working!


My favorite math author is Stuart J. Murphy. If you are not familiar with his Math Start books you need to book it to his website...NOW! He has all kinds of great teacher resources on his site.  I met Stuart at the 2003 IRA conference and have been in love with his books ever since.  Somewhere I have a Sony Mavica picture of us circa 2003.  It would be a great throw back Thursday if I can ever find it!  He has math stories to go along with every math topic and the kids absolutely love them! Two that I really enjoy for skip counting are "Leaping Lizards" and "Spunky Monkeys on Parade"



We love playing games in my room. My kiddos enjoy playing Garbage. I learned this fun game at a math conference many years ago. The basic idea is to use a deck of cards, set up a tens frame face down, and try to get the numbers in order from 1-10. Throw in some cute seasonal cards and you've got a great, easy center!




To play, each player lays out 10 cards face down in a tens frame (2 rows of 5). Put the rest of the cards in a draw pile face down in the middle. The first player draws a card, says the number and places it face up in the correct spot on the tens frame and picks up the face down card. Say the number on the card that was picked up and move it to the correct spot. If there is a face down card there, replace it and continue playing. If there is already a number there, say “garbage” and put the card in the discard pile. Your turn is over. The first player to get all ten cards in numerical order first wins.

The directions are wordy, but it really is a simple games that the kids pick up on quickly.  Good old wikihow has directions for the game as well as videos here. They refer to it as trash, but same basic idea. I also teach my kids how to play it cooperatively with one tens frame working together.

Once we've gotten really good at Garbage 1-10, I introduce Skip Counting Garbage. It's the same game, just with skip counting cards. 


I created a Skip Counting Garbage Pack which includes the following games:
-Counting by 10s (10-100)
-Counting by 5s (5-50 and 55-100)
-Counting by 2s (2-20, 22-40, 42-60, 62-80, 82-100)
-Counting by 100s (100-1000)
Games can also be combined to make a "mega game" (ie-counting by 5s 5-100 with 4 rows of 5)
Color cards and black line cards are included for each game.
You can check out Skip Counting Garbage here.




I also like to pass out the skip counting cards and have the kids get themselves in order.  A little chaotic the first few times, but then they start to get the hang of it!

As a thank you for stopping by you can grab a FREEBIE of Skip Counting Garbage by 10s here. It includes cards for 10-100. 

Be sure to follow along with my future adventures on facebook, pinterest, instagram, or TPT. Head on to the next blog and enjoy a great math tip and freebie from Wigglin' in Kinder


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Live Simply, Teach Simply: Pocket Cubes

Thanks to a crazy February I've been MIA from the blog world lately. February is always crazy due to Valentine's Day, the 100th Day, Presidents' Day and a short month. Throw in a few snow days then snow make-up days and you get complete insanity.  But here I am (finally) with another Live Simply, Teach Simply blog post.


One of my favorite "toys" in the classroom are pocket cubes-think pocket chart meets dice. These versatile cubes can be used for all sorts of class games, centers, and activities.  Mine are made by Carson-Dellosa and ordered through Amazon, but you can find these in other brands too.


These cubes make my teaching life simple because I can just print and add what I need to insert. The plastic makes them durable, so no laminating necessary!  My listening center usually has response activities, but I wanted to change it up a little. My awesome teammate across the hall had story response cards in her listening center that I really liked. I decided to add an extra element of fun and make some for the pocket cube.  After all, rolling dice just makes everything more exciting.


The six sides include: characters, setting, connections, problem/resolution, questions, and favorite part. My kids have really enjoyed these and they have sparked some great literacy conversations. My teacher heart just smiles when I hear my kids eagerly discussing books.  You can snag these cards as a freebie here or by clicking on the picture.  If you don't have a pocket cube you can just use them as story response cards.  I'll be making more of these, so be sure to follow along on my adventures so you can grab them.

And now for the "live simply" part-I'm sure we all could use a little sunshine on our shoulders at this point of winter!  




Saturday, February 1, 2014

February Word Study Games

Wow! It's February already!  I've been so off of my routine that I'm lucky I know what month it is.  Last week was CRAZY! Monday was a professional development day. My teammate and I presented a session on reading interventions and progress monitoring. Tuesday was a normal school day with kids that ended in snow. So much snow that it kept us out of school for the rest of the week. Virginia just isn't used to that kind of snow!  You'd think with all of that time off I would be ahead of the game for February. Nope, I chose to play in the snow and go sledding. After all, it may be another few years before we get enough snow to play in!

I did manage to finish my February Word Study games so they will be ready for my kiddos on Monday.  We're using these with Words Their Way. My kids just use their own sorts as word cards so it is easy differentiation and prep! You can read my last blog post for more details about how I use these games in my classroom here.


The February pack has 2 Valentine's Day games, a groundhog game, a Presidents' Day game and a Winter Olympics game.  They are all played the same way and can be used with word cards of any patterns or features.  I put the games in dry erase pockets so the kids have to write the word feature if they get a match.


I'm going to put pennies and quarters in the president game to tie in that social studies and math content! If they turn over two words with the same feature they will put a coin on the board instead of writing the feature.


My class loved the Winter Word Study games so I know they will be super excited to have new February games for next week!  Since I'm a little late posting these for Groundhog Day feel free to head over to my Facebook page to snatch the Shadow Shuffle game as a fan freebie. Make sure you like An Adventure in Literacy then you should be able to download it under Fan Freebies! A little sorry from me for being a snow slacker ;) 2015 Update: Facebook Fan Freebies have become questionable. Head to my TpT store or click on the picture below to download the freebie from TpT!